Great report. The "vibe we can't describe" will have to do as an explain ation for that special flavor this event has. Some of this comes from th e event itself and some of it comes from the location.
La Mesa, CA
NAHBS 2008-I wrote this while flying back to New York with the thoughts of the weekend fresh in my mind.
This was my first NAHBS and I can honestly say that the experience was m ind blowing. It was not inter-bike, it was not Cirque but it had elements o f both. From the buzz of the attendees of previous shows, this one was th e best. Thanks to Don Walker for all his hard work.
The city of Portland¹s love affair with the bicycle was a perfect stag e for this event. The young framebuilders with names that were so totally new to me were there with some very fresh ideas while the more established craftsmen continued to raise their game. One of the show surprises was the debut of BVVW¹s Joe Polito frame sets. I knew that Joe aspired to pic k up the torch but thinking about it and doing it are two different things.
For those of you who know me, I am into French bicycles so the anticipat ion for me was to see the interpretation of the new Rene Herse bicycles. Wh ile it is still a work in progress, the spirit of Herse is there and I wish Kon e and Nobilette the best of luck.
The players that made this weekend fun were the usual cast of characters
that you all know so well, Dale Brown, Peter Gilbert, Richard Sachs, Bri an Baylis, Matty Gorski, Peter Weigle, John Waner, Aaron Lipstadt, Rich Pin der , Chuckie Schmidt, Rich Pinder, Scott Ramsey, Wayne Bingham, Joe Bell, Bre tt Horton, Bess David and Brent Harrell. I know that I am leaving a few ou t but there were so many CR folks there. My wingman, John Pergolizzi was there in spirit.
I worked the floor during the weekend getting signatures from many of th e framebuilders on the NAHBS posters which Pergo will auction off in June at Cirque. Got mostly everyone but Lance.
Special thanks to Dale Brown for organizing breakfest on Saturday and La rry Meyers and his crew at the Recyclery for hosting us on Saturday evening.
Sasha White, you have a flair for booth design and cool bicycles. Thank s for hosting the party on Friday night.
So what did I fall in love with? Not enough bandwidth to itemize, but t he short list is the Herse rando bike, the Naked track bike, Vanilla¹s to uring bike, Bruce Gordon¹s titanium bike, Retrotec¹s city bike, Phil Wood¹ s prototype high flange grand flasque influenced hubs, Cane Creeks new titanium headsets with wood rings which would look really cool on a Parl ee Z1 stealth frame. I know its off-topic and that¹s uncool. Keith Ander son and Darrell's Llewllyn work was stunning.
The Naked track bike really wowed the crowd. Sam Whittingham, its build er from Canada took home three of the trophies. Quite an honor til you hav e t o ship them home. I suggest S&S couplings on any trophy over 4 feet. Yes, Sa m had a complete weekend, he took home the trophies and Lance Armstrong to ok home Sam's bike. Lance toured the show and just had to have that bike. Robin Williams was also seen at the show making his list of bikes. His favorite? Not telling.
I took beaucoup photos of the bikes and people. Since there were so ma ny photos of bikes posted, I started to post pictures on wool jersey of the
builders and CR types enjoying the event.
One last thing, thanks to Far West Milano CC for bringing the cigars. W hat a blast hanging out on the rooftop patio with a good beer, good cigars, a good wood fire and good friends.
Life is good.